Software Development Roles Your Company Needs

If you haven’t worked with a software development team before, it’s probably only natural to think that the term describes a simple group of software engineers operating under the guidance of some sort of leader who tackles digital and technological projects. 

That’s not exactly wrong, but in truth, the reality is much more complex. Certainly, the developers are the backbone of a development team, and there is someone in charge of the whole project, but there are other critical roles that you must be aware of, too. Although these professionals aren’t as well known in popular culture as the so-called backbone of software projects, they are no less important to the outcomes.

Knowing all the critical software development roles  — roles that are essential for a team responsible for building innovative products — brings you closer to forming a successful one. As a leader in a technology space, even if that space isn’t software-centric, you should be aware of the team composition necessary for bringing projects to fruition.

Given our deep experience as offshore developers, we know how beneficial it can be for people to know about these roles to understand the dynamics of the development team better and recognize what each of its members brings to the table. But before we look at the particularities of roles and responsibilities, let’s discuss the nature and general structure of software development teams.

Software Development Roles Your Company Needs 1

How Do You Build a Good Software Development Team?

There is no magic formula for creating the ideal software development team. Any expert in the field will tell you that it devising the right composition is never a guarantee, no matter how much time or how many resources you devote to the hiring and retention process. 

That said, a good software development team is one that has the necessary team members and roles for the project at hand. Since all projects have their specific requirements, building a good team means building a team with the right professionals to tackle the project plan with a goal-oriented approach that values creativity, problem-solving, innovation, and communication.

Ideally, you will focus on those values and rewards when you go through the hiring process for specific software development roles. However, you should always keep them in mind because you can’t expect that all candidates will have them — you will have to actively and continuously seek them out when you are looking at the profiles of the prospective team members who are applying to be part of your development team. 

You should also use them as the core of your development process, informing your workflow with them to improve the final results. Remember that team structures of any kind are rarely, if ever, permanent, and you will almost always need to be evaluating and reevaluating your efforts and team structure. Staying aware of your core skills and values — the ones necessary for maintaining project and business flow — will be foundational to your project and business success.

It is also essential that you keep in mind that diversity is key to good software development. That’s because people from different backgrounds and walks of life can bring new perspectives that can enrich all your software solutions and projects and positively impact them. Remember, too, that talent transcends demographic factors like gender, race, age, and geographical location — and they should not play a role in determining who is the best fit for your team roles.

Product Owner: The Leader of Product Development

  • Role Description

    When you’re initiating any software development project, you should start with the product owner. This is the person that knows how the final product should look because they have a deep knowledge of the project and users. Additionally, it’s the one that best understands the client’s requirements, so they are in the right position to lead the development toward a satisfactory final product.
  • Role Responsibilities

    The product owner wears a few different hats. For example, they are responsible for devising and managing the product backlog, ensuring that it flows smoothly without interruption. They also assess market demands and consider how the product can best address user needs. Market research is part of the role — the product owner will define user personas and translate product requirements into meaningful stories.

The final objective of a product owner is to ensure that the product that comes out of development provides the value you’re looking for. That’s why product owners must be analytical and creative, as well as aware of the current trends to inform the development process. 

Engineering Manager: The Project Mastermind

  • Role Description

    The engineering manager is the person responsible for the successful development of the whole lifecycle. Thus, they are in charge of planning the project, defining a scope for it, implementing said plan, monitoring its progress, and marking the end of the development. Basically, the engineering manager organizes the software engineers’ daily work and checks how they do it.
  • Role Responsibilities

Though engineering managers don’t code themselves, they do have a background in software development they are often software developers with extensive field experience. This provides them with the know-how to suggest routes to follow when issues arise, which are prone to happen in today’s flexible development environment. They must also possess strong leadership qualities to spearhead team efforts.

Project Manager: Keeping Everything Running Smoothly

  • Role Description

The project manager is critical in keeping the project on track. They wear many hats in this role and must possess strong leadership skills, organizational qualities, technical knowledge, and soft skills. However, while they work closely with the product manager — along with every other professional on the software development team — their responsibilities are quite different. Primarily, their job is to ensure that the project goes off without a hitch.

  • Role Responsibilities

Because project managers have an all-encompassing role, their tasks are many and varied. They are critical for every stage of the project: distributing responsibilities, setting deadlines, evaluating budgets, keeping everyone aligned and on task, and serving as a liaison between team members, stakeholders, and clients. They act as a go-to for all team members, keeping everyone organized and aligned on goals and objectives. 

Software Architect: Providing Structure

  • Role Description

A high-level position, the software architect takes a wide view of the software, making informed choices about how it will function. The software architect defines the essential aspects of the software’s internal structure and its technical aspects. They also define the tech stack and standards and review the code to ensure the overall quality aligning the progress with one thing in mind: to keep the code simple and functional. 

  • Role Responsibilities

Additionally, the software architect provides tech support across the different stages of the software development lifecycle through release. Thus, they need a lot of programming knowledge but should also have leadership skills to help and motivate the software developers throughout the process. 

As you can probably guess from their title, the software architect is an architect in the most global sense: someone who devises, designs, and defines the structure and flow of the product, as well as all of the elements that go into it.

Software Developers: The Builders and Facilitators

  • Role Description

The building blocks of any development project, the software developers are responsible for actually coding the software. They are essentially the ones who create the software itself, basically tackling the logical problems found on the project, finding solutions for them to finally implement them through efficient code.

You might think that you have to hire developers that are as experienced as possible to form your team. While you certainly need that experience to arrive at sophisticated solutions, you can always complement that with junior developers that can tackle routine tasks. In that way, you can have a more diverse team that plays to the strengths of all of its members, and that brings the solutions different projects require.

  • Role Responsibilities

Software developers build programs, applications, and systems, using their coding skills and knowledge of the intricacies of software development processes. They are also responsible for maintaining and updating this software in order to keep it functional and usable, as well as high-performance.

UX and UI Designers: The Masters of User Appeal

  • Role Description

User experience is an important part of the software development process, so it demands the hand of dedicated professionals. UX/UI designers are distinct roles, but their work is intertwined, so we’ll consider them together. On one hand, the UI designer is responsible for designing the user interface, which is everything that the users see and interact with when using the software. On the other hand, there’s the UX designer, who is in charge of creating a satisfactory experience for the user by paying attention to everything from the interface to the performance.

  • Role Responsibilities

In a way, UX designers supervise the UI designers, as the work of the former role has a profound impact on the overall experience. But the UX designers go beyond simply devising the interface, as is the primary job of the UI designer — they think like final users and suggest improvements to make the software easy to use and an overall enjoyable experience. 

It’s more than just defining a look and feel it has to do with defining how the software behaves and acts, how it can communicate what it expects from the user, and how it can be easier to understand with just a glance, all while providing a super performance.

QA Engineer: The Quality Confirmer

  • Role Description

Without a rigorous quality assurance (QA) process, your software could very well fail. Though there are people who don’t see the QA engineer as crucial for a team, this role has become essential. That’s because they take a look at the processes used to develop the software to ensure that they are efficient enough to provide high-quality results. 

  • Role Responsibilities

The QA engineer’s responsibilities encompass far more than merely pointing at bugs — it is about understanding the underlying development procedures and suggesting improvements that bring further quality to the final products. 

QA testers are more and more critical with each passing year because the need for higherquality products continues to rise. The motivation behind that is to have more robust software that can face digital threats that are growing in number and severity while simultaneously reducing the products’ vulnerabilities to a minimum. That’s why the QA engineers are the guardians of quality in software development and are responsible for pushing the other members to aim for greater quality in the products they create

Business Analyst: Thinking About the Bigger Picture

  • Role Description

Finally, we’ve got the business analyst, the person in charge of analyzing the client’s business needs to inform their development. Those business needs are translated into requirements that are, in turn, translated into the objectives that the software has to meet. Such a process isn’t an easy one, but it’s absolutely fundamental for any project’s success. This role acts as the bridge between the business and technical ends.

  • Role Responsibilities

Business analysts provide a lot of creativity in the early stages of development. They suggest ways in which business needs often abstract or far removed from the software itself — can be turned into specific requirements that developers can work with. That creativity isn’t mere imagination business analysts support all their suggestions with real data. 

In a nutshell, business analysts are responsible for evaluating the overall performance of companies, either in a consulting or in-house role, and developing plans for improving processes in order to help the business achieve its goals. They have many different tasks in their arsenal, such as researching, liaising with different departments, and drawing conclusions. Ultimately, they will present their findings to leaders as recommendations.

The Ideal Team Composition by BairesDev

While all of these roles are crucial at some point or another during software development, you might have some projects in your hands that can spare one or two. Ideally, though, you should have all of them on board, since they all bring unique value and specific skills to the development process and ultimate product. However, as we’ve mentioned above, it all depends on what you’re building, your specific circumstances, and your existing infrastructure. 

Moreover, the roles complement each other, and when key positions are missing, other professionals are expected to carry the weight. This often means that individuals who are lacking the necessary specializations because they are accustomed to focusing on other areas are forced to assume software development roles that fall outside of their area of expertise. 

Not only can this lead to resentment on the team, but it can also mean a more chaotic and rocky development process.

So, while building a good development team isn’t exactly easy, it is necessary for yielding the best software. If you’re looking to create a solid team structure but lack the resources in-house, turn to an outside provider like BairesDev. We will help you build a strong development team quickly, with the highest level of talent and expertise. Whatever roles you need — from UX designers to software developers — we will be on hand to help you fill in the gaps.

Build the Perfect Team for Your Company with BairesDev

Our years of IT development have provided us with the knowledge and experience you need to secure the best IT professionals for your project, whatever it may be. We will work with you to bring you the talented individuals necessary for building the highest-level projects and ensuring you have the right team composition for your particular initiatives.

Not only will we find the appropriate fit for your business, but we will also continue to support you and monitor the results. We believe in an ongoing partnership — this is the foundation for success. Our professionals are at the forefront of their specialization or niche. They have years of experience and represent the highest level of talent, no matter what their area of expertise.

Have questions about or process? Curious about how we gauge fit and assess expertise?

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